Friday, February 15th 03:34 PM IST

India buys 100 tons of Gold in January

# India gold reserves  # import tariff value  # gold imports  

In January 2012, India's gold imports fell 35 per cent year-on-year. Total gold imports last year dropped 11.25 per cent to 860 tonnes, partly a result of a previous tax hike.

NEW DELHI(BullionStreet): Amid strong government lead campaigns against gold imports, top gold consumer India bought 100 tons of gold in the first month of this year.

According to Bombay Bullion Association, India's gold imports surged 23 per cent to 100 tonnes in January as traders snapped up supplies ahead of a hike in duty by a government struggling to rein in its import bill.

BBA president Mohit Kamboji said so many people imported and dumped Gold after rumours from the first week of January of an import duty hike. People waited for the duty to increase and earn more profits.

In January 2012, India's gold imports fell 35 per cent year-on-year. Total gold imports last year dropped 11.25 per cent to 860 tonnes, partly a result of a previous tax hike.

India is the world's biggest bullion buyer and the government is trying to curb imports - second only to oil in value, to rein in a current account deficit which hit a record 5.4 per cent of gross domestic product in the September quarter.

January's imports were the highest in 18 months. The government hiked import duty to 6 per cent from 4 per cent on January 21 after hints from Finance Minister P. Chidambaramon January 2 there could be an increase.

On Thursday, WGC said gold purchases by India surged 62 percent in the fourth quarter on expectations of higher import duties and on demand for weddings and festivals, according to the World Gold Council.

Imports climbed to 255 metric tons in the three months through Dec. 31 from 157 tons a year earlier and 223 tons in the previous quarter, the producer-funded group said.

Still, overseas purchases dropped 11 percent to 860 tons last year from 969 tons in 2011, it said.

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